Why you must catch up on lost sleep in weekends

Sleep in because science suggests

Although a consistent sleep schedule is key to unlocking healthy benefits such as skin that feels fresh and rejuvenated and a strong heart and immune system, a new study says that you can catch up on sleep on the weekend and undo some of the damage caused by lack of zzz's Monday through Friday-like feeling like you're drunk at work.

"If somebody is routinely awake for more than 18 hours daily, then they are also routinely sleeping for less than six hours daily".

Sleeping in on weekends to catch up on missed sleep over a long and tiring work week does not only feel incredible, but it also may help you live longer.

Well, we've got good news.

There is a higher mortality risk if a person is consistently getting short (less than five hours) or long (more than nine hours) sleep, compared to people who are consistently sleeping around six to seven hours sleep throughout the week. That was true only for those under 65; the mortality difference disappeared for people who were older.

A sleep study revealed that less than six hours of sleep a day can limit the brains ability to function properly.


"Possibly, long weekend sleep may compensate for short weekday sleep", the authors wrote.

"Sleep duration is important for longevity", said Torbjörn Åkerstedt, first author of the study, at the Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, and Karolinska Institute, also in the Swedish capital. For one thing, sleep duration was self-reported by participants. But channeling your inner cat and sleeping too much can be just as bad for your health, studies have found.

"They sleep as much during weekdays as during weekends whereas the difference is huge in lower age groups", he explained.

Sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday could help people live longer if they aren't getting enough sleep during the week, according to a new research. Stuart Peirson, an expert in the human body clock who was not involved in the research, told The Guardian it "fits with what we do know about sleep", offering a more nuanced view on how much sleep we need to get.

The magic number? Eight or more hours of sleep on weekends is what you'll need if you plan to catchup on those lost hours from averaging five hours or less during the week. "If you eat OK during the week and you splurge a little on the weekend, you probably aren't hurting your health, but if you eat crap all week, no amount of Brussels sprouts or kale that you eat on the weekends can make up for that", he said.

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